An 86 year-old man and his 85 year-old wife were tragically murdered in a shooting that took place at a veterans cemetery in Delaware on Friday morning.
Daily Mail reported that Delaware State Police have identified the victims only as an elderly married couple. The gunman has been identified as 29-year-old Sheldon C. Francis, who killed himself a few hours later in a wooded area. It is not known at this time if he knew the victims before the murders.
“Francis was located deceased at approximately 4:00 p.m., on the date of the incident, in a wooded area located just off of Brennan Blvd., in the development of Brennan Estates, which is adjacent to the grounds of the cemetery,” a police spokesman said. “This wooded area was where an exchange of gunfire between Francis and officers on scene had taken place at approximately 12:08 p.m. Upon being located Francis was confirmed to have sustained a gunshot wound. It is undetermined at this time if the wound was self-inflicted or as a result of the exchange of gunfire.”
The suspect engaged in a shootout with police before he fled into the woods and shot himself.
The shooting occurred at Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Bear on Friday morning, and the names of the elderly couple have not been released. The wife was pronounced dead at the scene while the husband was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. He unfortunately passed away later in the day.
“To think of a situation like that on that facility is just heartbreaking…the final resting place of the men and women who served our country,” said Delaware Governor John Carney.
The cemetery is owned by the state and is overseen by the Office of Veterans Services, a division of the Delaware Department of State. Police do not yet know what motive Francis had for the killings.
It’s incredibly tragic to see an elderly couple be gunned down in such a sacred place that is meant to honor the sacrifices made by American veterans. Please join us in saying a prayer for the families of the victims during this difficult time.
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